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Globalization JAN 8 Lecture.docx

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Christian O.Caron

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January 8, 2014 Globalization Globalization is the social, economic, and political process that makes it easier for people, goods, ideas, and capital to travel around the world at an unprecedented pace. Globalization makes the world look and feel smaller. Globalization as a process means it is neither inherently good or bad. It does have real impact on the environment and every single human being around the world, although in different ways. (Ex. Digital divide is about inequality of access to means of communication.) Capitalists, Consumers, and Workers – main players in globalization Top-down Globalization Top down globalization involves the actions of groups promoting globalized capitalism and free trade Neoliberal economic policies are associated with: 1. A retreat from state spending and regulation 2. A focus on individual responsibility for one’s own welfare – conditions out there, some will succeed, all on the individual, on people’s merits and talents, not state’s responsibility 3. Less protection for labour and the environment – costly measures, let market and consumer decide 4. Privatization of state resources 5. Faith In the power of the market – free market Globalization from below Globalization from below describes the action of groups that criticize the injustices that result from globalization processes. Advocate for: 1. Spread of international human right 2. Global labour standards 3. Increased democracy in the global system 4. Environmental protection 5. Social justice Not a cohesive movement and more a broad framework that encompasses multiple perspectives This includes: 1. Moderate critiques of neoliberalism 2. Radical anti-capitalist positions 3. Various forms of anarchism – want to see disappearance of state entirely 4. Armed peasant uprisings 5. Fair trade coffee projects – work within the capitalist system Capitalists In economic terms, money used for investment, currency trading, is financial capital (98% of money exchanged on any given day is not tied to goods and services) Overcapacity: global corporations (TNCs) are producing more things than the world’s consumers can afford to purchase (in 2008, 94 million vehicles were produced for 60 million buyers) Centralization: corporations have merged to stay competitive, blending different industries together. Growth of corporate power Of the largest 175 economies in the world, 109 are corporations Companies play nation-states off one another, pressuring governments to lower tax rates by threatening to more production to a more favourable location (the worldwide corporate tax rate has fallen from 31.4% in 1999 to 25.9 in 2008) Critics of corporate power (No Logo, Adbusters) demand more accountability and social responsibility on the part of corporations While the global economy has made a portion of the world’s population wealthy, a large proportion of the world’s people (at least 50%) are considered poor (live on less than US $ 2.50 a day) *** State autonomy is being threatened because of…? Supra national organizations *** Which one of these is not one of the Three Sisters? UN / International Monetary Fund / World Bank / World Trade Organization – Represent world economy, promote top down globalization State autonomy disappearing? Democratic deficit is when ordinary citizens are disenfranchised from the process of governance This is due to the Three Sisters: 1. IMF (international Monetary Fund) 2. World Bank 3. WTO (World Trade Organization) Supra national organizations who put pressure on nations to deregulate capital
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